Fiberglass canoes are
laminated by hand using a high-grade isothalic resin. Each
Clipper canoe is reinforced in the bow and stern with a minimum
of two layers of Kevlar®, providing extra strength and
abrasion resistance needed in these areas of high stress.
Flotation tanks are glassed-in at both ends of the canoe in
all layups, and are filled with bagged foam for added flotation.
Three hull stiffening methods are used.
The Escape, Scout, Cascade, Tripper, Tripper S, Packer and
Solitude are stiffened with foam cross ribs. Foam ribs are
resined to the hull and covered with biaxle glass roving,
resulting in a light, durable canoe.
In the Yukon, Ranger and Prospector series,
multiple layers of directional glass are used for hull stiffening,
resulting in a slightly heavier weight than crossrib stiffening,
but is less expensive and is a stronger layup. The Whitewater
II, 17' and 18' Jensen, Sea Clipper, and the MacKenzie series
come standard with a vacuum-bagged foam core.
Kevlar® is a space-aged
aramid fiber which, under tension, Kevlar® fibers are
5 to 10 times stronger than an equal weight of steel. Kevlar®
cloth is more expensive than fiberglass and is harder to cut
and work with, hence the higher cost. Kevlar® canoes are
lighter and equal to or stronger than fiberglass. A Kevlar®
canoe will generally weigh 20% less than a canoe manufactured
out of fiberglass.
Kevlar® canoes are built with a minimum
of three layers of material (a minimum of two full layers
of Kevlar®). A full layer of Kevlar® is applied to
the gelcoat. Areas of high stress have additional reinforcing.
Next, a layer of polyester cloth is applied. A final layer
of Kevlar® completes the laminate. A special marine structural
foam core is then placed to the hull bottom. An additional
Kevlar® layer is then applied over the core. The Kevlar®-covered
foam core produces a sandwich type construction that is extremely
rigid and lightweight compared to other methods used to stiffen
Ultralight Kevlar® canoes
are built without any exterior gelcoat, thus the hull has
the 'honey' color of Kevlar®. The absence of gelcoat results
in a weight savings of approximately 10%. The first layer
is woven S-glass which is very abrasion resistant and is stronger
under compression than Kevlar®. Two layers of Kevlar®
are then applied with extra reinforcement in areas of high
Custom Kevlar®, our
lightest layup, has a minimum of two layers of Kevlar®.
The hull is stiffened with a vacuum-bagged foam core and graphite
reinforced-foam ribs on the side walls. The Custom Kevlar®
layup will have a clear skin coat finish and will look just
like the Ultralight layup. Custom Kevlar® models will
not be as durable as the Kevlar® or Ultralight constructions,
but the weight of the canoe will be considerably less.
Kevlar® Duraflex is
a laminate designed to be exceptionally tough. It has no foam
core or ribs. The hull is stiffened by up to ten layers of
structural material. A minimum of four layers are used in
side walls, close to the gunnels. A highly flexible resin
is used to allow the laminate to elongate under extreme force.
A Kevlar® Duraflex laminate may be gelcoated but will
add up to 4+ pounds. The Duraflex layups will easily outperform
plastic canoe hulls of the same shape. Not only will Kelvar®
Duraflex be as tough or tougher, it will also retain its shape
after years of use and is also considerably lighter.
Watch the Clipper Canoes
Kevlar® Duraflex "Hammer Test"
Blue Basalt is lighter than traditional fiberglass. It's stronger than fiberglass with 15% better stiffness and 25% better tensile strength. Blue Basalt is ideal for folks looking for a laminate less expensive than kevlar duraflex and lighter than fiberglass. The hull will appear black; take it out in the sun and it will appear to be a translucent blue.
The Blue Basalt laminate includes the first layer of basalt, which is an igneous rock (which basically means a rock that began in a molten state). Please note this laminate is not a replacement for the toughness provided by kevlar duraflex. Basalt fiber combined with a high elongation isothalic resin and a ribless non-core laminate results in a light weight construction of exceptional strength at an affordable cost. Available now in the 16 & 17 Prospector.